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National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera Administrative Region (NIA-CAR) was created in compliance with the Administrative Order No. 36, s. 1987 authorizing agencies of the National Government to maintain regional offices in CAR and the Presidential Directives in Baguio City dated November 10, 1992 pursuant to the instructions given by President Fidel Ramos during his visit in the city on October 24-25, 1992.

NIA-CAR was created on May 11,1993 as per Memorandum Circular No. 24, s. 1993. It covered the following offices: Abra PIO, Benguet PIO, Ifugao PIO, Kalinga-Apayao PIO, Mountain Province PIO and Upper Chico RIS with the head office at the old building of NIA-Benguet PIO in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet. It was initially manned by personnel from the different PIOs covered by CAR. NIA Administrator Apolonio V. Bautista designated Eng’r. Lamberto M. Siyangbigay, chief of Eng’g Division in Region I, as Officer-in-Charge of NIA-CAR.

After three months of full operation, turnover ceremonies were held at NIA-Benguet PIO Compound on July 25, 1993 with Jose A. Galvez, Assistant Administrator for Systems Operation and Equipment Management, gracing the occasion.

At the end of 1993, NIA-CAR had 57, 057.12 hectares of irrigated area out of 190, 295 hectares of potentially irrigable areas and a net surplus of more than Php2M. Since its creation, NIA-CAR has always been striving on the concept of capability, equity and sustainability for a lean but strong region.